All the Queen’s Men Toy Soldier Ranges

In 2015 we acquired the “All the Queen’s Men” colonial ranges from a local collector. I am now pleased to say that we have now acquired all of the rest of the AQM ranges including the vast Napoleonic, Bands, Crimean, etc sets.

The last of the moulds will arrive today and I expect to collect the 20+ boxes of masters over the next week or so.

It will take me a while to sort and catalogue all the moulds and check through all the masters to make sure that we can produce all the sets on offer. In particular, a lot of the older horse moulds will require remaking.


I am in the process of putting together a full price list for the ranges which will include prices for painted sets and castings. For the vast majority of these sets it will be the first time they have ever been available as castings.


I don’t have the moulds for the resin scenery for the vignette sets but will be recreating these in due course to be able to offer such things as the hougoumont sets and the storming of Badajoz.

I hope to start offering the sets in about 4-5 weeks and have the price lists up on the website. I will then work through casting and photographing sets to add to the online shop over the next few months (or more!)

Please inquire if there anything you are particularly interested in and I can look out for that set as I sort things.

This does mean I will finally be in a position to produce the Imperial German sets that I know people were interested in.

www.imperialminiatures.co.uk

This is part of a change in direction for as I have now also sold all of my wargames figure ranges that I produced through Black Hat Miniatures. The 15/18mm ranges will go to their new owner in the middle of next week.

I still own and will be retailing and distributing the Coat D’arms range of acrylic paint but this will enable me to concentrate more on the 54mm ranges.

Isandlwana Refight

Anthony and I met up in his games room to christen the new gridded battlefield he had ordered from me and I had recently delivered. This is based on the style of battlefield I created for the Portable Wargame demonstration game but with 5″ tile rather then the 100mm ones I used. He gave me a copy of the Battle Cry map for isandlwana and we converted that to a grid from the hexes used in Battle Cry.

Anthony contemplating the battlefield and the initial British and Zulu deployments.

The game was played using the Portable Wargames Rules, the sudden death variant, as usual. We rated Zulu units as raw and the British as Elite. Each side had 3 commanders.

The British are heavily outnumbered and there surrounded on 3 sides. The river is fordable but a unit has to stop when it enters the river, melees at -1 whilst in the river and can only move one square upon leaving the river.

The game started with the British firing their gun and forcing a Zulu unit back a square (The Zulus needed a 5 or 6 to retreat rather than dying and I managed to roll a remarkable number of 6’s). The Zulus needed to kill 6 British units to break them and the British to kill 10 Zulu units.

In the end, the game was very close with the Zulus getting victory having lost 8 units to the British – a number of poor British shooting rolls and the outflanking by the Zulus lost it for the British.

It was a fun game completed in 1.5 hours.

Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day

On Saturday March 10th a bunch of us from the Little Wars Revisited 54mm Wargames Forum met up in Woking, Surrey for a day of 54mm wargaming. The idea behind the day was to play a number of different games with different rulesets and see what other people did with 54mm wargaming and experience some new things as well as meet up with some people in Real Life for the first time.

The venue was Christchurch, a church in the very centre of Woking.

There were 5 games run on the day with people switching games between the morning and afternoon sessions.

First up, I ran my game of The Portable Wargame by Bob Cordery using the same scenery, Little Wars Revisited figures and scenario that we had used for the Cavalier game.

Anthony Morton brought along his ECW collection and and ran a game using the Pikeman’s Lament ruleset by Dan Mersey.

Alistair Jack ran a North West Frontier scenario with the British rescuing a garrison from hordes of Pathans using The Sword and The Flame ruleset from Larry Brom.

Eric Kemp and his son Jon ran a Napoleonic game using their own homegrown rules featuring a mass of Fench (160 figures!) assaulting La Haye Sainte against a few plucky British.

Brian Carrick ran a Lion Rampant game (again, rules by Dan Mersey) with English and French medieval armies clashing – featuring some very clever conversion (crossbow men from ww2 figures…)

We played a game in the morning, broke for lunch in the excellent church cafe downstairs and then played a second game in the afternoon. After clearing up a few of us retired to the local Turkish restaurant for an evening meal and more discussions of 54mm figures and wargaming.

All in all, a fun day and something that I have already been asked about repeating next year.

Cavalier 2018: The Portable Wargame

Anthony Morton and I attended the Cavalier Wargames Show in Tonbridge, Kent on Sunday 25th February. I had arranged for us to run a 54mm 19th Century version of the portable wargame to promote the Little Wars revisited forum, Black Hat’s range of Little Wars Revisited figures and Bob Cordery’s rules.

We used my usual armies of British and German organised into 6-man Infantry regiments, 2 man cavalry regiments and guns with 3 crew.

Anthony waiting for some players and the action to begin:

I made the board over a couple of days the week before the show by laser cutting a mix of 4mm,3mm and 2mm mdf into 100mm square tiles. Hills are represented by an 80mm square on the tile representing the hill top, rivers are 2 layers of 2mm mdf, roads are engraved into the tiles. The trees are simple, representative shapes on the edges of the tiles as are the fields and the town area.

The forces consisted on 6 infantry, 2 cavalry and a gun on each side:

The action begins:

We ran 3 games during the day and had a lot of interest in the rules, the board and the figures so it achieved our all objectives.

This shows one very enthusiastic young player who had amazing luck with the dice:

And his slightly older opponent who wasn’t quite so lucky:

We also had a lot of interest in the Little Wars Revisited forum and the games day I have arranged for March 10th in Woking.

Rorke’s Drift Diorama

I haven’t posted much as I have been extremely busy with work – both the wargames business and the Toy Soldier side. I have managed a few games but not managed to write them up.

The main project I have been working on was a commission for a Christmas present for a customer for her husband:

This was a commissioned piece requested to accompany a painting of the Defence of Rorke’s Drift. The diorama has 71 figures (and a dog) and is 22 inches wide by 15 inches deep, based on an oak base and supplied with a 4mm acrylic cover.

It uses figures from the All the Queen’s men range with four additional new figures that have been added to the range just for this diorama. The hospital is made from a plywood shell with 3d printed stone texture added to the outside.

The new casualty figures will be released as soon as I get a some photos sorted and uploaded.

The hospital is the first of a range of facades and will be released as a kit and a fully painted item in time for the March London Show.

If you are interested in commissioning a diorama please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.

There are many more photographs here:

https://imperialminiatures.co.uk/shop/dioramas/rorkes-drift-diorama/

Mike

The Battle of Hooks Farm, Woking

Saturday September 2nd saw the Battle of Hook’s Farm take place in the Woking between the forces of Army Red and Dark Green (in my side garden).

The game was played using the Funny Little Wars rules with 6 infantry, 2 cavalry and 3 guns aside for a total of 120 infantry, 24 cavalry and 3 artillery. Each side also had one sniper.

I umpired.

Anthony with the forces of Army Red deployed on their baseline.

The battlefield of Hook Farm, showing the farm, firefly church, the cottage and the hovel. A small stone wall provides some cover in the middle.

Brian with the deployed forces of Army Dark Green.

Army Red start their initial manouevres.

The catering corps observing the action

Army Red send a cavalry detachment to seize the farm.

On the other flank the cavalry dash towards the church

Army Dark Green advance more cautiously having refused one flank

Army Red advance in a steady line

Both sides cavalry contest the farm

First blood to Army Green as a well placed shell kills some cavalry

General view of the battlefield

Army Dark Green deploy the guns

And the artillery duel begins

Army Green advance to line the wall

Army Red Sniper hides by the Hovel

Slavs skulk in cover – unfortunately they were hit by their own guns just after this as a stray shell landed in front of the woods…

Forced into retreat by their own artillery…

The action hots up with a firefight developing

By firefly church the Red cavalry threaten the Dark Green heavy gun.

And over run it

Dismounted cavalry fight over the farm…

The game was fun and eventually, Army Red got the better of the firefight and having spiked their guns Army Dark Green withdrew from the battlefield. We were very lucky with the weather.

We played from 11am to 5.30pm with an hour or so’s break for lunch at 1pm and another short break for cake and tea…

Boer War Armoured Train

I have played a few 54mm games recently but not had time to write them up – hope to put up something soon.

I am currently working on a new piece for my Imperial Miniatures Toy Soldier range, which is a Boer War Armoured train.

The loco is nearly finished and once I have sorted a few bits I can start to work out what to make in metal. Currently it is laser-cut plywood with 3d printed parts.

The armoured wagon is getting there but needs quite a bit of work…

Zulu Wars: Portable Colonial Wargame

Anthony and I played this game a few weeks ago at the Guildford Club but I have been so busy with work that I haven’t had chance to sort out the photographs and write it up.

The game was played on a 6′ x 4′ mat from Deep Cut Studios with a 6″ grid on it using Anthony’s collection of Little Legion 54mm glossy figures. Units were 6 figures strong.

The game was played down the length of the table and very, very loosely based on the Isandlwana scenario for The Sword and the Flame.

The rules used were Bob Cordery’s Portable Colonial Wargames rules using the “sudden death” option without strength points for the units. A unit when shot, or losing melee either dies immediately or falls back a square.

Native units can move twice in a turn if they manage to throw a 5 or 6 on a die before moving, which gives them a mobility advantage.

For the first game, Anthony took 2 infantry, and artillery piece and a Gatling gun which proved slightly overwhelming in its firepower.

The gatling gun proved so effective that the Zulus were unable to close the left-hand horn around the flank (only having 6 units, I opted for a chest and one horn) and they were mowed down in their hundreds leading to a British Victory.

For the second game we reset and Anthony replaced the Gatling with a third Infantry unit and I again took eight units of Zulus.

The artillery piece on the flank proved much less effective than the gatling and the flank envelopment worked this time leading to a resounding British defeat as they were wiped from the map.


Again, another fun game which was quick enough to allow us to play two games in an evening.

19th Century Portable Wargame

I played another 19th Century game using The Portable Wargames rules this week. My hardback copy of the rules appears to have been lost in the post, so we played using the downloaded version. But, actually, we would have used that version anyway as I prefer it to the version published in the book. I will expand on that in a review of The Portable Wargame once I get a chance.

I chose Scenario 14 – A Static Defense from One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas and we rolled up our forces from the same book, adding 2 infantry to the totals for a total of 8 units.

The game was played on a 4′ x 3′ mat with 4″ squares so I adjusted the map slightly to allow for the extra width over the 3′ x 3′ map in the One Hour Wargames book.

The scenario places the Red player (British played by Anthony in this case) in defence with the task of defending a hill and a town. They must start with hald their forces near each location and keep at least 2 units within 3 squares of the objectives at all times,.

The Blue Player (myself playing with German troops) has to take one objective and be the sole occupant at the end of the game on the 15th turn.

I added some extra cover to the map as we are playing a version of the Portable Wargame where a unit eiher dies or has to retreat if it is hit. If it can’t retreat then it also dies (as we shall see).

Unusually, Anthony and I both rolled a 1 for our force composition which gave as each 2 artillery, 1 cavalry and 5 infantry. We designated the rifle troops on each side to be elite, all other units were average.

The initial deployment – the Germans had to enter the table on the southern edge on turn one.

The British left wing defending the town with the general.

Defence of the hill.

The initial deployment of the German attackers.

The second turn saw an artillery exchange which destroyed both the German guns (as they were unable to retreat) and caused the British to lose one gun (as it couldn’t retreat) and one British foot unit was eliminated when the German gun overshot its original target.

The Germans advancing on the hill – the plan was a small nuisance force on the right flank and a main thrust at the hill.

Continuing to advance on the hill while the Bavarian unit threatens the town.

Germans advance on the hill fairly unhindered.

Just after this point the german cavalry were hit by artillery fire when the gun on the other flank missed the intended infantry target and hit the cavalry when they were unable to retreat.

The Bavaran infantry were able to extract revenge and destroyed the artillery the same turn.

The British cavalry finally move off the hill and get stuck in.

The Bavarians attempt to win the game all by themselves by finishing off the only British unit on that flank and taking the town. Sadly they pushed he British back but then failed to take the town and were destroyed.

On the other flank, this was the final result at the end of turn 15. The remaining German unit was unable to take the hill or force the remaining two British units from it.

It was a very close game with Anthony convinced he had lost about turn 8 when the hill looked likely to fall but his cavalry was able to survive a melee from two units and then turned that to their advantage to destroy most of the German attackers on that flank before being shot down.

Once again we managed a fun, very close game in just over 2 hours including set up and packing away – One Hour Wargames Scenarios with The Portable Wargames rules are proving a winning combination.

Garrison Abandoned!

We played a 4-player NWF 54mm game at the Guildford Club this week. It pitched Anthony and Alistair as the British attempting to relieve a Garrison against Andrew and I as the Afghans. We used The Sword and the Flame rules with half size units.

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Slightly blurry view of the garrison awaiting their relief column.

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Anthony and Alistair looking confident – this didn’t last too long…

We set up with the Afghans using hidden movement and with a rule that they would be placed on the table if they fired, moved in the open or the British came within 12 inches of their concealment.

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The game at the start without an Afghan in sight!

The British advanced cautiously onto the table. In fact, very cautiously as for the first few turns the Halt card came up in the movement phase and Alistair hardly moved his troops at all. The Afghans skulked from cover to cover waiting to see what the British planned and happy to leave the British Garrison to their own devices.

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The first troops to engage were the horse on both sides but neither proved conclusive with the Afghan horse refusing to close.

Eventually, a Pathan sword unit charged the British flank and killed the majority of the unit sending the rest running to the rear.

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On the their flank, Andrew’s Pathans finally closed and repeated their success by polishing on another British unit.

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At this point the British decided that discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew.

To be fair, the British fire power was poor and then Alistair threw 6 1’s out of 9 throws in melee which really didn’t help!

It was a fun game and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

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